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Commercial Science: A New Arena for Gender Differences in Scientific Careers?

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  • Ding, Waverly W.
  • Murray, Fiona
  • Stuart, Toby E.
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    Abstract

    This paper examines gender differences in the participation of university life science faculty in commercial science. In part based on interviews, we develop hypotheses regarding how scientists’ career achievements—their productivity, co-authorship networks, and institutional affiliations—have different effects on whether male and female faculty will become “academic entrepreneursâ€. We then statistically examine this framework in a case cohort dataset containing the career histories of 6,000 life scientists. We find that participation in for-profit ventures, which we measure as the hazard of joining the scientific advisory board (SAB) of a biotechnology firm, is a new arena in which gender differences are sharp: compared to men, women life scientists are far less likely to receive compensated advisory roles at for-profit biotechnology companies. Moreover, the gap in participation rates persists after conditioning on numerous measures of human and social capital. We also find that this gender difference is contoured by a number of factors, such as co-authorship network structure and the level of institutional support for commercial science. Surprisingly, we find that the (conditional) gender gap is largest among scientists employed at high prestige institutions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt0m0877rr.

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    Date of creation: 03 Jan 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt0m0877rr

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    1. Fiona Murray & Scott Stern, 2005. "Do Formal Intellectual Property Rights Hinder the Free Flow of Scientific Knowledge? An Empirical Test of the Anti-Commons Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 11465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Azoulay, Pierre & Ding, Waverly & Stuart, Toby, 2007. "The determinants of faculty patenting behavior: Demographics or opportunities?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 599-623, August.
    3. Farber, Stephen, 1977. "The Earnings and Promotion of Women Faculty: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 199-206, March.
    4. Owen-Smith, Jason, 2003. "From separate systems to a hybrid order: accumulative advantage across public and private science at Research One universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1081-1104, June.
    5. Etzkowitz, Henry, 1998. "The norms of entrepreneurial science: cognitive effects of the new university-industry linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 823-833, December.
    6. Preston, Anne E, 1994. "Why Have All the Women Gone? A Study of Exit of Women from the Science and Engineering Professions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1446-62, December.
    7. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1996. "Company-Scientist Locational Links: The Case of Biotechnology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 641-52, June.
    8. Scott Shane & Rakesh Khurana, 2003. "Bringing individuals back in: the effects of career experience on new firm founding," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 519-543, June.
    9. Scott Shane & Toby Stuart, 2002. "Organizational Endowments and the Performance of University Start-ups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 154-170, January.
    10. S. Redner, 1998. "How popular is your paper? An empirical study of the citation distribution," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-134, July.
    11. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
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